Pulled pork sandwiches, anyone? Truth be told, you can do so much with pulled pork like make tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or flatbreads. I love making this tasty classic pulled pork recipe. While it does take some advance prep, it’s a super-simple and super-wholesome way to get lots of meals out of one thing!
Best Pulled Pork Recipe
Why go to a restaurant and spend a fortune feeding the family? Or worse, buying those pre-made pulled pork kits in the supermarket! Those are loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. Truth is, pulled pork is a simple dish that tastes best when you make it yourself.
Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Pork shoulder roast – In my opinion this is the best cut of pork for pulled pork. This tough cut of meat becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender through slow cooking. Using a slow cooker for pork shoulder is magic!
- Barbecue sauce – BBQ sauce mixed with natural juices is what makes pulled pork sauce taste so amazing!
- Onions – adds flavor and aroma while aerating the pork.
- Seasonings – with a mixture of chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, this pulled pork is going to be amazing!
- Brown sugar – gives it that caramelized flavor.
Easy Pulled Pork Recipe
This easy pulled pork recipe only needs 20 minutes of your active time. The rest of it is letting it infuse with the flavors in your fridge and then letting your pulled pork crock pot or instant pot do all the heavy lifting.
Put some pork on your fork.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Pulled Pork Every Time
- Use the right meat – Pork shoulder often is labeled “pork butt.” You’ll easily find it at the supermarket though you can always ask the butcher.
- Be patient! – Don’t be tempted to set your slow cooker on high for this one. The waiting is indeed the hardest part of this recipe.
- Put the onions down first – These create space between the pork and the bottom of your slow cooker, allowing the air to circulate and letting you get the most tender results.
How to Cook Pulled Pork
Pulled pork requires a little patience and timing since you will need to prep it and let it sit in the fridge overnight. After that though, you simply add your pulled pork recipe into your slow cooker and busy yourself while your home fills with delightful aromas!
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
Choose pork shoulder or pork butt as it’s sometimes found. It has the best fat content so the meat becomes wonderfully tender and divine in this bbq pulled pork crock pot method.
Can you use pork loin for pulled pork?
Yes, though it’s much leaner so it won’t have quite the same rich flavor using pork shoulder brings to the dish.
How many pounds of pork will I need for pulled pork?
That all depends on how many people you’re serving. If it’s just your little family of 4, you won’t need a giant pork shoulder. But if you’re throwing a party, you’ll want something bigger. Generally, you should plan on one-half a pound of meat per person, keeping in mind that bone-in pork shoulder will net you about 60% in meat by weight.
How do you make pulled pork more tender?
Making pulled pork more tender involves 2 crucial steps. The first is to plan ahead and marinate it overnight. The second step is to cook it in your slow cooker for 8 hours on low.
What is the best liquid to cook pulled pork in?
This bbq pulled pork recipe uses barbecue sauce. As the pork cooks slowly, the fat renders off, creating a juicy experience.
How do you make pulled pork sauce from scratch?
It only takes your favorite barbecue sauce plus brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste to make an excellent pulled pork sauce yourself.
Do you cook pulled pork covered or uncovered?
Pulled pork should be cooked in your slow cooker. It’s easier this way too as you do very little work to make it tender and delicious. It will simply fall right apart once the timer is up.
How Long to Cook Pulled Pork
Pulled pork will take about 7 hours in your slow cooker. Don’t rush a good thing. With the slow cooker, at least you can do plenty of other stuff while your pulled pork cooks up.
How do you keep pulled pork moist?
The slow cooker (crock pot) is all you need to keep pulled pork moist. With a pulled pork crock pot recipe you should have onions at the bottom, barbecue sauce, and its own rendered fat, to be plenty moist when it’s done!
Best Ways to Use Pulled Pork Besides Sandwiches?
I mentioned a few things at the top but you can certainly turned pulled pork into your favorite Mexican meals like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos. Add it to fried rice, soups, stews, gyros, shepherd’s pie, and pizza. The reason why bbq pulled pork in a slow cooker is one of my favorite dishes it because of its versatility and it makes great leftovers!
What to Serve with Pulled Pork (Side Dishes)
When I serve bbq pulled pork sandwiches, I usually add coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad with a dash of cayenne pepper, baked potatoes with a tablespoon of fresh whipped butter, jalapeno cornbread, mac n’ cheese, and a chilled cucumber salad with a teaspoon of dressing. These are all great picnic foods that work beautifully with it and fill up a plate with balance.
How to Store Pulled Pork
Even with a big family, it can be hard to polish off all the pulled pork in a few days. Even when you use it different ways, everyone wants something else. After 4 days in the fridge, it needs to be frozen.
Can You Freeze Pulled Pork?
Absolutely go ahead and freeze that pulled pork. I like to separate it into servings so I’m not stuck with one giant bag of pulled pork. Once in a freezer bag or wrapped properly, it can last for 3 to 6 months.
How to Reheat Frozen Pulled Pork
After letting it thaw in the fridge, your frozen pulled pork can be heated in the oven at 350F for about 10 to 20 minutes. Add a little water if there’s no sauce and cover it to keep it from drying out. Smaller portions can also be heated on the stovetop.
Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 pork shoulder roast
- 4 onions
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce
- 8 hamburger buns
- Start by mixing together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Once the dry ingredients are well combined, rub the mixture all over the shoulder to evenly coat it, wrap the pork shoulder in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night.
- The next day, chop the onions in quarters and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Then place the pork shoulder in the crock pot on top of the onions, cover and cook for about 8 hours or until the pork is soft, tender and falling apart. Carefully the pork and onions from the crock pot and place them on a baking sheet. Slice the onions and using two forks shred the pork by pulling it apart in opposite directions.
- Pour the barbecue sauce bottle into the crock pot, then place the shredded pork and onions back in the crock pot and stir to evenly coat in the barbecue sauce and juices. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or Hawaiian sweet rolls and enjoy!
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